SEYMOUR Senior Constable Jason Crossing was recognised for his service with the 2019-20 Rotary Peter Toomey Memorial Community Police Officer of the Year and Rotary Clubs of Victoria District Police Officer of the Year awards.
Sen Const Crossing was presented with the awards during the Australia Day ceremony at Kings Park in Seymour last week.
The Peter Toomey award is presented annually to a police officer within the Rotary 9790 district who demonstrates outstanding service above self in the community. The 9790 district spans an area from the northern suburbs of Melbourne to southern New South Wales, including all of Mitchell Shire.
The Rotary Club of Seymour and Mitchell Police Service Area Inspector Peter Koger presented Sen Const Crossing with the award and paid tribute to his dedication.
Insp Koger said Sen Const Crossing had been a member of the Australian Defence Force prior to joining Victoria police and was deployed on active duty to conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Timor during his 10 years of service.
Sen Const Crossing received eight service medals during his time in the army, including infantry combat badges, a soldier’s medallion and commendations.
“Jason’s service to his country has now turned to serving our community,” Insp Koger said.
“His diverse background and experience has equipped him with life skills that he is able to utilise in every day policing duties.
“Jason consistently demonstrates his commitment to making the community a safer place whether it be attending family violence incidents, addressing anti-social behaviour in town or policing our rural roads.”
Insp Koger said Sen Const Crossing had attended numerous family violence incidents, some involving recidivist offenders.
“The compassion he displays to victims of family violence allows them to again feel safe and on numerous occasions the victims have taken the time to make comment on the empathy he has displayed towards them,” he said.
“Jason has twice been commended for the actions he took while attending serious family violence matters and his commitment to reducing family violence in our community.
Insp Koger said Sen Const Crossing’s commitment to serving the community and Victoria Police’s fundamental value of protecting life and property was no more evident than in 2018 when he and his partner were called to assist three adults and two children stranded in the Goulburn River at Yea after their canoe had capsized.
“All five were clinging to branches in the water and starting to suffer from the effects of hypothermia,” he said.
“With specialist assistance some time away, Jason realised that time was of the essence and enlisted the help of a nearby fisherman in a boat.
“By the time they rescued the last person they were so cold that they were unable to physically get into the boat, so Jason entered the water and assisted them.
“All ended well in a situation that could have very well ended in five people drowning.”